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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  January 4, 2013 5:00pm-7:00pm EST

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this is the creator who endows us with natural rights that are inevitable, inalienable, and universal. and hence, the foundation of the democratic equality. .. especially religious wants that supply the conditions of
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liberty. the founders did not consider natural rights reasonable because religion affirmed them. rather, the founders considered religion reasonable because it secured natural rights. there may, however, be a cultural contradiction. the contradiction is that while religion can sustain liberty, liberty does not necessarily sustain religion. this is both of paramount importance because of the similar importance of the declaration of independence. america's public philosophy is distilled in the declarations second paragraph. we hold these truths to be self-evident. notice how our nation was born with an association the important political are not only
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noble, they are self-evident, meaning they can be known by any not quoted by ignorance and superstition. it is as the declaration says self-evident clear that all men are created equal equal not only in their access to the important political truths, but also being endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. next in the declaration comes perhaps the most important word in the declaration. it is the word secure. to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, jefferson wrote. that is the government's primary purpose is to secure pre-existing rights. a government does not create rights, it does not dispense
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them here concerning the opening paragraphs of the declaration is woodrow wilson and modern progressivism into the american story. wilson urged people not to read what he called the preface to the declaration. he explicitly says if you wish to understand the real declaration of independence, do not read the preface to read the preface is what everyone else calls the declaration of independence. wilson did so for the same reason that he became the first president to criticize the american founding. and he did not criticize it about minor matters. beginning with the doctrine of natural rights, which he rejected. this criticism began precisely because the doctrine dictates the limited government which he
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considered a cramped and scientific understanding of the new possibilities of politics in the modern age of political science. they described their rights as, quote, fourth of july sentiments he did so because this doctrine the mandated the plans to make the government more scientific and the service of the politics that is much more ambitious. willson's intellectually formative years in the late 19th century were the years in which darwin's theory of evolution see it from biology into the social sciences and putting political science. wilson, the first president of the american political science association wanted the political project to encompass making government default as human nature evolves.
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the human nature to progress, this is why her progressives progress meant progressing up from the founders and they are false because static understanding of human nature. only government unleashed from the confining doctrine of natural rights could be muscular enough for this great project. such a government needed and not the founders steady constitution, but a living constitution. a much more permissive constitution. that is the new progress of government needed the old constitution to be construed as granting to the government power sufficient for river project the government decided was required for progress. but what then about the framers purpose of writing the
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constitution to protect people from popular passions. wilson argued that the evolution of society had advanced so far that such worries were anachronistic. the passion of human beings in society such as the united states had believed to be domesticated. the no longer pretend to be tyrannical or otherwise undermine the order. hence wilson thought the state emancipated from the founders static constitution should be coming and i quote him, had instrumentalities for quickening in every suitable way. of collective and individual development. well, who was to determine what these might be suitable? the answer might be the
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government itself. wilson was as progressives tended to be a historic assist. that is someone with a strong sense of history he thought had its own unfolding logic, its autonomous trajectory, its proper destination. was the duty of leaders to discern the destination towards progressing and to make government the unfettered of the process, progressives tend to exalt the role of farsighted leaders and the role of the american president. this too put them at odds with the founders. the words leader and leaders of here just 13 times in all of the federalist papers. once as a reference to those that led the revolution.
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the other dozen times are all in context of disparagement. the founders were away at the people's pretension for a rational and out through the passions and therefore were weary of leaders that would seek to send the power by a rousing waves of such passions. wilson, however, wasn't worried about what worried the founders. she said great passion when they run through a whole population find a great spokesman. in 1912 they found wilson. and he began building what we have today, the modern administrative regulatory state from the supervision of which no corner of life was immune. now, i will leave it to more
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other theological ground persons to decide whether or how the progress of doctrine of a changing human nature can be squared with the teaching of the various religions. i will, however, postulate this. in nations such as ours steeped and shaped by biblical religion cannot comfortably accommodate politics that takes its bearings from the proposition that human nature is a product of social forces and that improving human nature perhaps into perfection is a proper purpose of politics. i will go further. biblical religion is concerned with asserting and defending the dignity of the individual. biblical religion teaches that individual dignity is linked to individual responsibility in the
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agency, therefore biblical religion should be wary of the consequences of government untethered from the limited purpose of securing natural rights. do not take my word for it, take the word of alexis de tocqueville. the tocqueville wrote democracy in america two generations after the american founding. two generations after madison identified the tyranny of the majority as the distinctively worse political outcome the democracy could produce to feed the tocqueville, however, had a different answer than that ascended to the question of what kind of despotism space nations have to fear. his warming is justly famous and more pertinent now than ever. this despotism that will lead to
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tocqueville what he say was mild than the traditional despotisms but coming in here i put them at length the modern despotism leave men without granting them. it is absolute, detailed, regular, farsi and my old. it would resemble paternal power if like that and have for its object to prepare men for manhood but on the contrary it seems only to keep them fixed. it willingly works for their happiness but it wants to be the unique agent and sole arbiter of the happiness. it provides for their security and for their needs, facilitates the pleasures, conductor principal fares, directs their industries, regulates their
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estates, davao's their inheritances, cannot take away from them entirely the trouble of thinking and the pain of leaving, so it is de tocqueville continues that every day it renders the employment of free will less useful and rare. it confines the action of the wealth and the smaller space and little by this little the use of free will from every citizen. it reduces each nation which is the government of the shepherd. each of us must decide to what extent the tocqueville has been fulfilled. people of faith might have this. does the tendency of modern
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politics take on more and more tasks in order to ameliorate the human condition? does this tend to me to the message about reconciling us to that condition? people might worry whether religious institutions can flourish in the dark shade to meet the government that presumes to supply every human need and satisfy and anticipate every appetite. to the extent that the politics of modernity attenuates the role of religion and society, to that extent it threatens society vitality, prosperity and happiness. the late irving kristol understood this. although not an observant eye view, my friend described himself oriented to the divine. he explained why in these words
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a society needs more than a sensible men and women if it is to prosper. it needs the energy of the creative imagination as expressed in religion and the art. it is crucial to the lives of all of our citizens as it is to all human beings tall times. but they encountered a world as a transcendent meaning of the world in which the human experience makes sense. nothing is more dehumanizing in crisis than to experience one's life as a meaningless event in the meaningless world. we may be approaching what is in our nation on explored and perilous social territory. europe is now experiencing the
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religious impulse and the results are not attractive. it seems that when a majority of people internalize the big bang theory and asked with peggy lee is that all there is, when many people decide that the universe is merely the result of the cosmic sneeze with no transcendent meaning, when they conclude that there for life should be filled to overflowing with distractions, comfort and entertainments to assuage the boredom, then they may become susceptible to the excitement of politics that promise meaning and salvation from a human condition bereft of transcendence and therefore barron. we know from bitter experience of the 20th century the political consequences of this felt meaninglessness. the political nature and the
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vacuum of meaning is filled by secular fighting such as fascism and communism. fascism gave its adherents a meaningful life of destiny. communism taught its adherence for meaning for the participation in the drama of history on folding destiny. the excruciating political paradox of modernity is this. it's the moral bloody history of religious strife but there is no precedents for blood shed on the skill produced in the communist century by secular, by political face. therefore even those in their growing cohort even read perhaps
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especially the continued vigor for the religious institutions that have level of american life. for the reasons articulated by the most articulate american statements to read in 1859, the lowering clouds in the union, a successful real world from across the railroad from north of here lawyer turned presidential and addressed the wisconsin agricultural society. he concluded his speech with the story of an oriental despot who assigned to his wiseman the task of devising a proposition to be carved in stone to be forever true. after some weeks they returned
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and they offered him this too shall pass away. said abraham lincoln how consoling that proposition is in times of grief and how chastening in times of pride, and yet it is not necessarily true. if, he said, we americans cultivated the moral and intellectual world within us as we cultivated the physical world around us we shall endure. we have long endured. we shall continue to. this is in large measure because of the division of labor between political institutions and the intermediary institutions of the civil society. including and especially religious institutions that
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mediate between the citizen and the state. the mediating institutions crucial to the flourishing of st. louis and in this university be a center in the family. thank you and them for your attention, and now i welcome your comments. thank you very much. >> we are having time for q&a. the format is we have standing microphones if you will queue up to locker room we will end promptly at 8:30. >> thanks for coming. what would you see, religion is
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going to be here long time but what are the arguments for less government involvement if things if people hold on to their money more they will be in the position to take care of the poor in that sense of religion. can you imagine where else that might come from? do you think that it's possible for those people to be taken care of the outside of a religious context and political context and is there any example of that? >> i am not denying their role which americans of all political persuasions agree on that the state has and supply a social safety net. they are not made only or in primarily financial costs. there is a cost of crowding out private initiative pfft to the kremlin out of charity and all
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social responsibilities on to the state. it is indicative, sure relief of something important that the charitable impulse in the united states is far stronger than it is in europe and the welfare states are far stronger in europe than they are in the united states but the united states has been tardy some people say backcourt, i see prudent not offloading so much of the social responsibility on the state. but there is a cost beyond the financial cost of the entitlement state to be fought about particularly because right now and this becomes extremely practical as we scramble around looking for the revenue to fund the entire, state people say one way to get more revenue is two flem etcoff the deduction so the
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state grows and it the same time simultaneously because of that it limits the efficacy of the charitable impulses. >> do you think that outside of religious organizations or the government do you think something else would seal that vacuum? >> lots of things to read what deutsch took a's democracy in america still the greatest book ever written by one country by a citizen of another she wrote in jacksonian america when we were just becoming a mass democracy and nothing struck him more than the american society and the generating spontaneous order of volunteer associations. no other country is like this. when the trains would leave the great american historian who was later a librarian of congress, he wrote in his book about the
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wagon trains leaving st. joseph misery about the second day of the circle the wagons and write the constitution for the wagon train and assigned tasks and have committees it's in our national dna partly because we believe in governance from the bottom-up. >> thank you so much. this was a wonderful lector. i only hope that conservatism has more in the coming decades. i just a few questions to be one kind of piggyback on the previous. you said at the beginning that your thesis is religion is in the place of civil society where we discuss and define what our moral values are if religion should be separated from politics so continuing on what is the danger of having government and politics encroached upon a civil society that is supposed to be separate
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from that and then i've really enjoyed everything that you have said. my question though regarding the sort of logic of your argument of how do you then kind of support this idea that biblical religion has the idea of human rights with the fact that human beings interpretation of christianity and the bible has changed dramatically over the last 2,000 years. thank you. >> i would argue that the essence of christianity isn't changed over the last 2,000 years but christianity like everything else has been used for political purposes and people tend to piggyback their political agendas on to all of mankind's inheritance but it seems to me it is in essence of political religion as a human nature. i do not think and certainly didn't intend to say that a
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belief in natural rights needs to be grounded in religion. as jefferson said, our rights no more than our geometry and physics depend on their religious beliefs. i do think however it is empirically the case that they are grounded in the idea that rights are natural because nature was designed by the creator to discuss the role of the creator and have a particularly strong foundation for the belief in the rights. >> thank you so much for being here. it's an honor. did you ever consider running for political office, what were the determining factors and would you ever consider it in the future? >> note to the first question. i live in maryland but only about 40 republicans in maryland. [laughter] second, republika life would cut into my baseball too much. third, i have a metabolic urge
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to write. i can't stop, and so that would interfere. >> please, keep it up. >> thank you very much. >> i am curious i know that you the to the modernist art of expansion of the government going back to wilson. i'm curious if it can be extended more to lincoln. i know it's very critical of the expansion of the government powers and the state and local government and you get them going beyond restrictions of the constitution that goes jury much back. i'm just curious. >> you're absolutely right. lincoln expanded the executive power more than anyone had ever envisioned. but he did so when the cannon was visible from the white house. he did so exclusively under the
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war power of the constitution. the emancipation proclamation was explicitly grounded in the war power. it was -- [laughter] i have offended someone. [laughter] lincoln said when he suspended tedious corpus he did so when congress was as it was in those days in washington and out of session as soon as congress returned he sought permission when he sought legislative ramifications. lincoln, however, could not have been true in saying all power to jefferson you have the forecast and audacity to embedded in the otherwise revolutionary document, the doctrine of
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natural rights. he said all of my political sentiments derived from the declaration and jefferson's assertion of natural rights. so there is no sense in which although he did extend executive power in peace time during an astonishing degree he has been lincoln's tradition. >> thank you. >> thank you again for the excellent letcher. -- lecture. alisa secular and political faith has killed more and i can only assume you're talking about specifically soviet russia and nazi germany. and then going off of that, my question is what you say that
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these regimes are possible because of the uniformity of the christianity in each of those nations and germany with german lutheran as a man catholicism and the russian orthodoxy and if that is the case, then how does the myriad number of protestant done nominations in the united states provide a unique tyrannies specifically? >> i was not referring just to the soviet union and nazi germany. communist china killed far more multiple two or three of those tyrannies combined with no christian heritage to speak of. i do think that there are serious scholars that have made a serious argument that there is something in luther's temperament that is instinctively dramatic and lead to a kind of authoritarian.
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anyone that has read luther knows that he was as i said no democratic. but i do think there can be sitting multiplicity of religious faction as well as other factions and again, the more the merrier because the religious factions are an alternative source of social authority and what you want is a society in which the state does not monopolize social authority. >> you talked extensively about the pluralism of religion in the united states contributing to a lot of what we believe, and that's how important that is. there is one particular force and religion in the united states today, the religious right that thinks it is their personal and valuable right and that they can inflict their views upon this country.
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they try to insist and i think that you stand counter to this that it was the intention of the founding fathers to create some type of what i call the christian equivalent of iran which i don't think is the case. do you think maybe this time the political system stand up for the religious right and say get in line with devotee else? just because you are religious and write it doesn't make you write all the time? >> that isn't a doctrine i don't think that sits well with our institutions. with respect, i got your point but i disagree with every syllable you just said and now let me tell you why. [laughter] the religious right of which i obviously am not a member of rose after the religious left and in politics a long time ago in the form of the reverend martin luther king and jesse jackson and the reverend ralf
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david abernathy etc., etc., etc.. the religious right was provoked into politics. the tradition among many protestants was political quietism. in the supreme court decided that the constitution required that there would be an excursion of religion from the public square in the removal of prayer from schools, deeply offended a great number of americans and then 40 years ago next month with roe v wade, they delivered the final publication that to deliver a great many people into politics for the legitimate political purpose of trying to save as they thought the american culture to read a great many people work themselves up into what i must call a synthetic frenzied about the threat of theocracy.
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anyone with the slightest in the supreme court ruling on the establishment clause down to the point at which it becomes a matter of major litigation to have a crush on the post office lawn knows that we are so far from any possible menaced of religious orthodoxy in this country to just try to have a prayer at a high school football game in texas and you will find out how thoroughly the supreme court has put brick upon brick on the wall of separation that jefferson wrote about. this seems to me entirely spurious orie for which there is zero realms. i just don't see it. nor do i see in the members of the religious right and i know many of them any desire to terrorize any one.
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again, remember the thought they were attacked. they wanted to be left alone. [applause] >> i appreciate you as a voice of reason on both sides of the yet issue. my question though is more of a historical interpretation which is you just talked a bit about the history in the enlightenment and the reasoning or argument if you will but we share that with most of the post enlightenment world so my question is from what point do you think the united states diverges from those other countries in the endurance? what do you think it is that is so deep in our ongoing philosophy on what democracy should be?
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>> that is a simple question and answer is this, irving kristol is still living and produces a book as an approach to the rest of us and says there are two enlightenments, there's the french enlightenment and the british enlightenment on which the american enlightenment was part and they differed radically in the sense that the british enlightenment was empirical and temperate. the french enlightenment was such a year. one who gave rise to the glorious revolution of 1688 and eventually the american revolution. the french enlightenment gave rise to the french revolution and the blood bath and the differences -- to go back this doesn't sound like a philosophy seminar -- what do we know and
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how do we know it? the great believers in their reasoning and high priority reasoning the british and the tradition of human, skepticism which makes you inherently tentative about the data that builds into life which no one ever accused the french of. [laughter] >> thank you for the elector. i've noticed as i deutsch my undergraduate degree and as light consider entering into adulthood and thought how i might get to serve and contribute to society and i found in my own experience that it is very difficult to get any sort of charity for any charitable services. i'm saying that it's very difficult to get service in europe and that is for my own
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personal experience and when i was asking people they were saying why would we serve? there is a bureau for that. >> and i'm finding there are some places in your bid is illegal to give volunteer service and so as i see the united states going in the same trend of outsourcing charity and a listing of the poor and i'm finding myself even in just purely economic side as so overregulated and so over controlling of your lives that it takes away your freedom to even support yourself in an easy manner. how would you propose the government relinquished the power that it has taken on peacefully? how do you think that the government would be able to let go of this control and unfetter us to be able to do good work?
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>> well, i agree with every syllable that you just said. [applause] you almost prefer it to the dhaka provoked me to be more than i feel comfortable doing in this chapel. laughter irca the answer is due less, leave more space, more breathing room for the civil society, for what de tocqueville marvil debt that we are still capable of which is this astonishing combustion of voluntary association. if i used in my remarks the analogy of which smaller things cannot grow and that is the danger of an excess of state. >> but how can we get the government -- if you can't see it get them to stop, how can we
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get them to take the law out? >> when some elections. [applause] >> raise your questions together and then respond if you wish. >> you mentioned in the speech tell you were raised in the secular -- >> say that again you sit in your speech raised in a secular household. i assume that position as because intellectual used to believe it is the acquisition and you also mention in your speech about the benefits of religion. it's interesting sort of how the paradox where everyone tells of the position that you do, we would lose the benefit of religion, and how do you
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reconcile that? >> i don't. you are right, it is an empirical question, not a question of logic, it is an empirical question whether or not a society can be prosperous and virtuous and therefore free without religious substance. the biggest laboratory for that today is post christian europe, and if i say that the others are not promising, even though the european union did get the nobel peace prize interrupting its writing to accept the prize [laughter] but it is a fair question. the logic of my argument is there were a lot more people like me we would be in big trouble. and i think that may be true. >> thank you. what are your views on the
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present state and future state of the american nuclear family? >> without any doubt, america's biggest problem is not the debt and fiscal clips and other metal geology. the biggest problem is the disintegration. families being the primary transmitters of social capital. [applause] 1964 pat moynihan then lyndon johnson's liberty department produced a report called the crisis in the negro family for the national action. he said there is a crisis in the negro family today because 24% of african-americans as we now say children are being born to unmarried women.
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72%. 50 some percent again, the crisis, 24% in 1964. today one third of all american children, all ethnicities, one in three children born to unmarried mothers, we know what this means. we know the social pathology to correlate like this. particularly we know the problem of the constant the renewed cohort of adolescent females that have fathers in the home. we know that means in terms of tumultuous neighborhoods and schools that can't teach. we have no idea why it happened. we do not know why in 1950 the growth rate was 15% and today it is 33%. we have seen family disintegration this happened in peace time from and it didn't just happen here.
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it's happened in whales, portugal, spain. we don't know why. we don't know what to do about it. i will give an answer to interest and amuse the previous questioner. went to things coincided the great destructive power that one brought together in the late 18th-century england, a grain surplus partly because of the shipments from the united states and the art of distilling the result was a social calamity for brethren. they passed a few licensing laws and it didn't help. was stopped and turned it around was john wesley particularly converting the women of england.
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[laughter] that is just the way that it worked. so again, it is an odd thing for me to say. >> you talked about the virtue that freedom requires i would just like to hear your thoughts and education we address the teachers, the curriculum and all these things that are major problems children come to school without virtues and the schools are trying to nurture character and education that i'm not sure you believe the public schools is the place to nurture that were held as our society or culture doesn't march to nurture those virtues. how do we address problems in the schools? can you address these virtues? >> this is a good question. moynihan said the family of the
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smallest school, and by the time a lot of negligently parenthood to no fault of their others are doing their best, these children go to school and it is too late. i remember chicago school teachers saying she routinely gets first graders who do not know numbers, sheikhs or colors. because she said no one ever cooking dinner turned around and said green round of peace. there are in a culture of silence except for television. showing three runs of jeopardy. as i say, it is america's biggest problem. thank you very much. [applause]
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what's going on in this country people have been giving me for a long time we have this case coming up and i'd like to talk to the united states of america what's going on. >> i ran across and the families go all the way back to italy. she settled here in rhode island and worked his way at first doing adel level kinds of crime but became the crime force of new england with his headquarters in providence rhode island. >> sometimes people think they are dumb guy is, that isn't true at all. they are people that are incredibly intelligent to but they pulled some scams for example on wall street the would make bernie madoff who look like a piker that they had the kind of organized crime that was shaking down people, extortion.
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of course the viewed is just protecting your business from others that might try to shake you down, and of course murder for hire etc so they grew and grew as a result of their trying to protect their turf and their way of doing things. >> more from the rhode island state capital as the tecum american history tv and c-span's local content vehicles with behind the scenes of the history in the literary life of providence. saturday at noon eastern on c-span2 book tv and sunday at five on american history td on c-span3. >> it's quite true that the people's history is the result of how it synthesizes the work of a great many other historians what had happened in the 1960's with the counterculture was that a whole new generation of young historians had come up, and they
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were in essence we evaluating all aspects of the past. >> biographer last november the rand corporation held its politics conference in santa monica california. this panel focused on hollywood's portrayal of politics and policy making in movies and shows. we will hear remarks from michael barr during this one hour and 20 minute event. >> good evening again. welcome back to the forum. i'm not the one you will be applauding for. you know, we have public events, public forums in our santa monica headquarters campus about once a month. and we have had a former
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presidents and prime and esters and embassadors and foreign ministers and police chiefs and the occasional school superintendent. we have never come to my knowledge, had anybody that has ever created, let alone start a movie or a tv series until tonight. and we have michael lynton to think for that, politics aside and 2012 just like in 2010, and he of course is a rand trustees we are delighted to have him. he will moderate tonight. with him -- and i will ask the panel to come forward, howard gordon and david nevins and michael sheen. [applause] that's david nevins right there. [applause]
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[inaudible] [laughter] >> first of all thank you very much for being here and all of you for being here on friday night because i know friday nights are tough to get away particularly if you have kids in a household. but i don't do this for a living so you have to fill in in the middle. but let's start off we all know the wonderful show and movies that you have been involved with, many of which overlap with political events and policy, everything from west wing, homeland, obviously "24" and "frost-nixon." this comes to all of you but i would like to talk in the first instance on the show's "homeland," "24" and "the queen." where did those come from in the first place?
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david, do you want to start? >> "24" came from a very basic idea from to -- two writers. it was and in the shower idea. thinking about television, there are 22 or 24 episodes in a season. thinking about the number "24" and said could you do in entire season of television over the course of one day. i was an executive at fox at the time when he come in and said this to me. that was intriguing. could he do an entire season of television over one day and then he laid out the story that would support that. there was a guy incredibly high stakes professional situation today of the california primary,
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first african american with a real shot at the white house and had an assassination attempt and was his job to stop it. meanwhile his teenage daughter was missing, incredibly high stakes personal story coming and that was sort of the beginning. i have zero faces that he was going to be given to write it well but it was worth the price of admission to see, and that's where it all began. how were the cannon to 24 beginning with episode to and then carried it all the way to the end in the road many of the greatest episodes and brought the series to a close in the last episode. but that's -- i think it began with an idea in the shower just thinking about the form of television. >> it was the first incarnation the day before a wedding so it wasn't until terrorism or counterterrorism as a subject matter was something that came. >> i had never heard that day
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before the wedding. [laughter] >> because it didn't work as it turns out. >> and then the show went on the air and god ordered in the spring of 2001, and then the pile was made and finished and we ordered it then and went on the air in september of 2001, so we ended up the lining of the premier i think by a week going on two or three weeks after 9/11 >> is certainly changed the way that we view the show. it's interesting that it's sort of patrimony wasn't born out of line 11 which is something a lot of people think, but it was a midwife and viewed through it, and i think as relevant to maybe to my conversation, too, some of the issues that were relevant and became relevant to the show
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like how we prosecute the war madd on terror she really resonated with an audience because he was this robust wishful film that would ever study of intelligence allowed 9/11 to happen, jack bower filled in the gatt not only with the terrorists but the sort of ineffective bureaucracies that allowed it to happen, so she was a sort of very robust american hero. but as that story became more complicated jack became a dark character and through the lens of guantanamo and abu ghraib, the story became a little less -- he just became less heroic character and more complicated certainly. >> in the case of "homeland" -- >> it is and is really serious that means of adopted in hebrew, and the show came to me through
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my agent to represent the company that did in treatment and that one was far more specific translation from the original. that one was about prisoners of war and then retreated after years of captivity and return to israel where it was kind of a rip van winkle family drama that only dealt with -- not only but substantially with the idea of what is the price of a returning soldier who's been in captivity and something very specific to that country and that culture, and when it came our way, alex and i raise my writing partner and he runs the show knew that that was going to be a farce -- it wasn't something the was going to be relevant in the way that was presented in the original. >> with a very -- it is based on the story that is very
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culturally resonant and everyone has a personal connection to the idea of people missing whereas here they knew that it would be an anomaly if we found a soldier suddenly alive in afghanistan and iraq. so i think it was the analyst nature that led them to this crazy story. >> and what was amazing to us and what was relevant in terms of where it came from was the idea that nowhere on american television, and really not to our mind satisfactorily have a returning soldier returned from the war, you know, been portrayed, and obviously in very exigent circumstances in the case of our character, but nevertheless that is something that interested us, but it felt like a good way to dramatize a lot of the questions that we sort of answer on "24" in ll but
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more by an eerie fashion in a more nuanced fashion ten years after 9/11. a lot of the questions that were not clear then seemed -- well, even more complex now. so we have to be afraid of what is the price of our security? and these are the characters we created to sort of ask those questions. >> and michael, with "the queen," what sort of prompted that film in your mind? >> the queen came directly from other film which is called "the deal," which was seen as a trilogy of films written by peter morgan. the deal was a filmmaker in british television about the suppose a deal that was made between tony blair and gordon brown before they got into power with the labor party and it came along, the deal came along at a time really when the idea of
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portraying a very prominent public figures certainly in the realm of politics on its film was nobody did that unless it was shows and impersonations of the comedy and that kind of thing, it was actually depicting people and nine. but i suspect it was similar. >> it is tacky and you can't take it seriously. so the idea that peter morgan was well respected. we've been knocking around a british tv and you done a few things were done quite well but it wasn't until you wrote "the deal" that he found a groove on suppose. ..
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which you sort of expect to be funny and sitting around the breakfast table and that kind of stuff. as soon as you take it seriously it opens a new universe of entertainment, politics, history, combination, which in some ways opened up a can of really woos as well. that worked so well and accepted and celebrated because it did well then we directly lead to the queen and the possibility with that subject matter, there was, i mean, we didn't expect anybody outside of britain and
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even within britain not that many to be excited about the supposed deal. but -- that's essentially where it's about. all the films i've done with peter. it's lift the israeli. you lift the and vulnerable and multidimensional rather than black and white. in terms how we or stray certain things. the queen came directly from the deal. >> what did tony blare think of it? >> what did tony blair think of it? >> that's my next question. i want to know between, you know, president obama and homeland is the favor show and the queen invited everybody to bucking hamming palace once the the dust settled out and won oscars. [laughter] but my question is when you're dealing with lives, real people
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who you're portraying or in the case of oklahoma home "homeland" or "24". what is we were talking about next door. maybe you can answer, michael, how is tony blair's perception change as a result of the film and the queen's perception change in the mind of the public and question go on and talk about homeland and "24" and that . >> this are many things you're working with when you do a tv show that has so many political emphasis and one of the things is you came against the agenda of people in terms of the agenda they have for looking at and discussing and judgments
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politicians. people tend to be more comfortable looking at things black and white. you can judge them against other people and make the choice and that kind of stuff. the first, of course, duty of an artist is to go beyond black and white is to become three dimensional look for rounded it out to make it real and contradictory. that's what human beings are. and look where they're vulnerable and which goes in the face of the way people to tend to want to view politicians.
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-- giverring it do blair. it's not what i'm going for. there's a strong agenda here and everyone projects on to you they're own politicians and of course, once it came out i realized quite quickly if we did the job well, people would still think that we done have hatchet job or done a great, you know, booster job for these people. people project what they want to see. certainly with the things i've been involved in. people antiblair thought we made anti-blair programs we do -- [inaudible] so people can read in to what they want to read in to. in terms of the actual person on the actually people, there was a huge amount of us is pushes. >> on the part of -- tony blair? >> yes. the blair government, the new labour movement where, you know,
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politic it was about controlling the media and making sure that message everyone's message, it's delicate that balance between the media and their policy that the idea of this rogue group doing something that was going to really potentially people's view of them they have no control over was difficult for them. taiment blair was quite -- subsequently, it's very hard to pin down what blair think about it is. partly because he said he never watched any of them. which is clearly not true. [laughter] because he -- when i did meet him, which i'll get to him. he knew some things better than i knew. i understand he has to say he hasn't seen them. if he has seen them the inevitable did he doesn't want to answer the questions. that's fair enough. i get that. but i suspect there is a certain amount of he's proud that it's
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being portrayed and had a film made about him. on the other hand i think he's suspicious. when i met him was born out by a hard push me, pull you relationship we had for a short space of time where on the one hand, you can see he was fashion nateed by meeting someone who played him and knew lot about him, and at the same time really wary of anything he did or said that i might be using the negs next time. when i met him i met him before the third one which was "special relationship" and he knew we were making it. and e actually met him at rupert murdoch's house. which -- [laughter] >> very kindly invited to by mr. murdoch's wife who thought it would be cool to put us together. it was. and i thought, this is probably the only -- i had a few chances to meet him and i turned down
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because we tried to stay away from everyone i was going to play. which is something -- [inaudible] but i thoint at this point. how people react and what smell does he give that. that kind of thing. the chief of staff and headed up the town daiption and they clearly been briefed to keep me away from him. for the rest of the even they were on me. on the other end of the table. they got progressively more and more fluid, i wasn't drinking and they started telling me discreetly which he use a -- [inaudible] [laughter]
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the one thing i was going say sorry i'm taking up so much time. the extraordinary time each time i played him i go back and look at any biography or documentary that come out since the last one, and when we came to do "special relationship" a major documentary being made he wasn't in power anymore. they done a huge documentary about him. i watched which was interesting and covered a lot of areas we covered in the "special relationship." it was nas nateing. when the interviewer asked blair so the first time you met the queen, i believe -- prime minister the morning after you won the election, i believe that your meeting with her was -- there was a few things that happened that weren't necessary protocol and that kind of thing. do you remember what happened? and blair hems and haws a little bit. and says, well, what do they do in the film? [laughter] blare used the film, there you
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go. >> argument life. >> as a way to answer the question. it's an extraordinary piers verseble thing. >> it's amazing. >> howard, and david, when you both shows and "homeland" now and "24" until in the past there really interactions with the area of counter terrorism and between yourselves and those agencies and did they respond to what was going on on the show? >> well, i mean, you know, no. in other words, they weren't -- the show is so fundamentally preposterous and both are when you think about it "24" the idea that something, you know, so much would happen have a begin, end, have a middle and send crazy. >> right. >> and "homeland" in to the cia's operating on our soil as far as i know isn't happening.
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but there is an emotional trend to the exacter and i think ultimate matily our relationship with the military and with the intelligence and counterterrorism agencies where they were fans. they became fans of the show. and they just kind of -- we just got calls from people from the pentagon and from . >> both shows were done and conceived without cooperation and without any proported . >> endorsement. >> yeah. connection to how they actual run. it was never part of the proposition. i have done attempted some show that have not seen the light of day with actual cooperation of government agencies and this is another other thing. i work forked a long time on the fbi and also with nasa, neither of which probably not unconsequentidently probably not consequentidently never came to fruition. but these shows -- "homeland," i
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mean, "24" made up its own organization ctu to avoid it. and with oklahomaland it was a -- "homeland" it was a step toward realty. it arudes to the -- alludes to the cia, but did. >> but the -- it's the our relationship with the military was interesting because initially obvious these agencies and want to keep arms lentd and sort of once we -- once they became fans, i think it was that simple. they just enjoyed it and felt this is portraying what we didn't portray a general or soldiers in the case of "24", for instance, the military became cooperative. so we had a pentagon liaison. and when we wanted, i mean, it got to the point where we said we need a couple of f-16 at the l.a. river and they would do it. sure. it got great. i mean, -- [laughter] >> it was a lot of production
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values and again, i think obviously they thought that public affairs and image through the show was projected in certain way. also, but by the same token i was visited by the general of west point, a few years later when, you know, there was some investigators in iraq and afghanistan were being influenced by the content of the show, and were intergoition techniques were being informed by jack but but bauer. >> let me ask you a question. >> yeah. >> or finish your thought -- may not have a affect on the poplar view of it. in particular with "24" i know you were involved in the film
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"unthinkable." torture is a prominent component of the show. what extent do you think that film and that show entered to the debate particularly under the bush administration. >> i think that in "24" there was no -- the idea and it was promoted in certain articles and i think there was a conflation of politics because joe who created the show, is a, you know, a public conservative, i mean, the spectrum of political affiliations on the staff were, you know, from the far left to the far right, but there was no agenda. the idea there was an agenda, which was really the charge that was being forwarded we were somehow the midwife to a public policy on coerceive integration was on surd. if there was an issue if in fact our content was effecting the behavior of entire interrogators in the field. where was.05% were faking their
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rue -- cues from jack there was a stimmic problem. try to intervene on the behalf of the people pen and try to, you know, abuse them of the fact this is a television show and it is a television show. but it did what i -- again i may be poly anish the fact that "24" became the political football it became for awhile it was a valuable thing. that it was the trojan horse that -- and through which that subject . >> there was a key article in the new yorker that the mayor wrote at the height of "24" it was part profile of jim, part a look at the terrorism issue with and effect in the military enshe's fundamentally a washington military journalist, and hadn't done a lot of stuff in television popular culture,
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and it was sort of an interesting moment for the show. i still am not sure whether it was helpful or harmful. >> i think undoubtly was harmful. somebody at the party said i used to watch the show until i found out it was promoting or torture. and we're on fox. >> and that -- [inaudible conversations] yeah. >> and these things are, you know, they seem to prplt proximate. but popular -- you were saying before that, you know, popular -- one of the things names it popular is people able to read in to it what they want, and the politics good complex story telling, the politics are little hard to figure out like there a little hard to figure out the politics of homeland, exactly. >> but as you said before, the idea if you can offend everybody you have done your job. the fact that you -- rush limbaugh can love a show and
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bill clinton or maybe barbra streisand. how far left can i go? "unthinkable "did the whole issue of torture become part of the dwai. >> that's what it was. the film itself was about taking the sort of famous ticking clock scenario people talk about, which you are familiar with and dramatizing it. the idea that a man has put four new bombs on american soil how far do you go to get out? what are the lines you are prepared to go up to or beyond in order to save the entire united states of america and everyone in it. or do you have to negotiate with the man's human rights and you know what the parameters. and the film was dramtyization of that. very difficult to read when the politics were. it was sort of -- you can watch the entire film and still, again, everyone has their own view of it. and being the man who actually the film is about a cia agent,
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american cia agent who is working in iraq disappears nobody knows where he is. he ends up in a mall in america and gives himself up and then when he's brought in, he says he's converted to become a muslim and devoted and the bombs are on the place and the character comes in having been or it her and using torture in bosnia, and the whole film is about me being tortured by samuel l. jackson and pushing you to see how far, you know, how far everybody concerned is prepared to go to get the information out. it was incredibly -- [inaudible] to make for me. i remember turning up on one of the first day to do one of the torture things, which i believe is something used where i was chained to ceiling with a bag on over my head with nothing but
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boxer shorts and nothing but fans. we're going do it but not for very long. the idea was -- [laughter] and that set the precedent for the entire film. i was waterboarded. and i did all the things. it was not quite as bad. but, i mean, that was a very frightening thing to go through. the appoint you bring up, which you talk about which is the idea that people's desire to be involved in helping the make of this completely depend on what sort of they believe is, you know, how they are being portrayed, absolutely. >> and that gets complicated. >> it's understandable too. they have a job. >> it's challenging anybody who is in sort of a public affairs position within a government agency, you know, they -- they're trying not to get in trouble. and so . >> the agencies who are better or less -- well. >> it was interesting with the phi, because i think muler believed in the idea. he watched the csi effect that
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csi created more interest in people going in to, you know, coroner. and forensic science and that college programs couldn't go fast enough to put people through. and it watched that and realized the fbi he wanted to make being an fbi agent cool. it was a good recruiting vehicle. it was his interest and john miller who ran public affairs with him for a long time and was i think, you know, the deputy -- a high-ranking public affairs guy sort of come out of television and gone back to television and understood it, and there was even with the best of intention there was enormous tension the whole way through. i know if we're going to do modern television it has to have
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character flaws. there was enormous negotiation over drinking, smoking, sex, what kind of sex, where and when and how, and it just. they had the interest of intention and i was direct and i would say it was a the best experience. >> but it didn't work. >> it wasn't quite good enough. it wasn't quite original enough. as crazy as cary matheson is. as messed up as she is and psychology damaged and i believe that cary makes the cia sexy. it makes it sexy and interesting place to work when i bet it will be net a huge positive to get equality people to the cia. despite her -- all of her personal problems, and that i think . >> [inaudible] [inaudible] and somebody should ask that
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question to the cia. what happened in the last six months. >> they have been cooperative. >> they realize that but it would be hard for any government agency to put their neck on the line saying yeah, i'm going support a by polar agent who is sleeping with an islamic radical. [laughter] >> in some ways it high lights things more when you look at one person. through the journey of david frost, his relationship which it began as a play in a small theater in london and wednesday went to the west end and broadway and a movie. the very first preview performance across nixon in a tiny little theater in london, the entire back row were frost's lawyers. [laughter] the preview david himself was there, having supposedly being given the all clear or told you should see it yourself. he was very shake by it to begin
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with. and i think for a man incredibly generous and warm and positive and very, you know, supportive of everything, i think he felt very confused by how he should react to this. as the whole thing went on, and it started to become clear it was not only going a hit but a massive hit in terms of the play and the theater version of it, he started to get behind it. because he's a good businessman. >> it's good for him. of course. >> and he started to go, okay, there's a certain amount i don't believe actually happened. it's not true and somebody in the audience who knows more about it, but, you know, i think he made judgment call, which was and i think it's the same with the agencies and working on it who is being rented, you have to work out -- are we going get more good? we're never going to be able -- he tried to control how he was portrayed in it. and i'm sure if the fbi and the
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cia and the military could control it they would. but they know they can't. so it's a give and take. and the difficult thing is when from an artistic point of view how much you being comprised in terms what you want to do and the story you want to tell. the suppose the same on the other same. what was interesting at one point was that david famously had gone to the premier of a film that he was producer of the night before he did the interview with nixon and criticized for this. on the opening night in the west end, which david was invited to, he was interviewing blair the next morning and decided he wasn't going come to the premier of it because look at what happened last night. >> there you go. he interviewed blair and managed to get out of blair the iraq war was a disaster. which nobody had gotten and you could say that he -- he got he
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did better. >> an interesting give and take with it. >> fascinating. >> so we heard this afternoon or this morning, rather, from a senior saudi arabia government official that he felt that american television programming certainly appear in the '70 z, '70s, '0eu89d had a positive event demonstrating american vawms to the world. how do you think the world outside the united states show "24" and "homeland" and what effect do you think -- have you heard anything at all? >> yeah. "24" and "homeland" are extraordinarily popular not just in germany and in the u.k. but also in jordon, turkey, and places you, you know, frankly "24" is a huge knit iran. it's being beamed in illegally by i can't remember the name. >> you're not getting paid for
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it. >> right. i'm not getting paid for it, no. >> but it's smuggled in a lot. yeah. we heard it from -- [inaudible] >> >> yeah. >> and the actor who plays a character is persian and has a lot of connections in iran and he's been tracking . >> butt thing . >> tracking "homeland" in iran. >> and surprise stunningly popular. statement i have read a few criticisms of the show, and again, to the extend we sort of, i think, make piss people off on every side of the aisle and embraced too. tvs a good thing. i think one thing i learned you learn anything about this as an extortd as a -- export as a public face we have some responsibility, some certainly influence on the this is an american export. it it's a good at this. we make good movies and television shows and always
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have. and so it is what the world sees of us, and there was a book called "what a billion muslims really think" by -- it doesn't matter. she's a research for the gallop organization, and they interviewed people in polled people in egypt what is your feeling about americans? and don't like america, but i like americans. have you ever met an american and 100% said no. a small percentage had never met americans. the followup question how do you know you like americans and answer of "friends qghts. based on that i like americans too. [laughter] now it's true. it's true. >> but there is a, you know, i mean, look, you know, politics demonizes and culture humanizes and there is an, you know, the essential truth about tony blair you have to love. >> this is an important thing in
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the case of the thicks i've been involved in we're talking about which are based on real people and real events in the case of "homeland" and "24" it's not necessarily based on actual specific things that happenedded. there's a responsibility of how do you portray them. what is the responsibility of how you portray it. >> i'm -- i'm quite annoying to howard, i'm the -- i think i'm the one person connected with "homeland" who grew up in d.c. i have obsess on tiny details like . >> starbucks on -- m street not a one way street. it goes both ways. >> and we're like, okay, david. on the details that aren't . >> but -- go ahead. >> andic you get enough of those detail right that people can buy in to the show. you know, barack obama is not watching the show because it's a brilliant portrayal of the cia. it gets enough of the details right of what it feels like to be in the situations. what it feels like .
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>> i have no idea why he likes the show. >> i think it's less about the details. to the extend i have spoken to -- i have became friends with him on the "24" and he described it there is a -- it's not a palmic add audiences smell propaganda. if you introduce the complexity they deal with. it was a function of not a good choice and a better choice but the better of two bad choices. that was the formula or a atrope of "24" that would have been it. and i think the people saw and maybe president obama sees as well, there's something about the presentation of the complexity of some of the things that people who are charged with these jobs have to deal with. i'll tell you writing it and imagining it makes me grateful it's not my job. [laughter] trying to imagine how tough some of these real-life decisions must be make you really
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grateful. >> and the things -- danger with the stuff i've been doing for a lot of people, the version that we show is going to be a lot of people . >> historical record. >> -- [inaudible] i kept saying when people asking me about the pivotal scene which is to do with a phone call between nixon and frost which never happened. and people say how could that -- how could you show that? that's a pivotal moment in the piece, and the same with the queen, one of the big scenes with the queen remembers is the scene between the queen and the stag which never happened. it made up. peter morgan invented that about phone call. nixon made phone calls and part of the research would be there are times when he's on heavy
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medication and make phone calls that would remember and the staff told, you know, if the president calls, you in the middle of the night. stay on the phone. he's fall asleep you put the phone down and you never mention it. i always used to say was a valley is a valid argument to say that frost never plea yaid around nixon. that's what is -- it's acting and story telling and film and drama, it's still, you know, it's not a documentary. so it's more about i think an audience responds on the whole to whether there is a sense of complexity of somehow is true to the spirit of something. i watched "argo" the other day, the most exciting i believe is the only thing that didn't
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happened. is it vailed? i'm not saying it is or isn't. how much can entertainment rely on things that didn't happen to come up with the internet factor if it's supposed to be based on real event. that's something with each piece i've been involved in you have to judge as you come along. >> and your new piece? [laughter] >> a view of reality. >> yes, i welcome working for -- which will be about real people and real event and going through the whole . >> an join going series -- ongoing series about johnson. which weirdly, i think has not been done. the conventions of popular entertainment gets made, you know, we do historical pieces about we do a series about the tutors or the -- but real 20th century figures they are done in movies but not dope in series.
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of course, the series over the course of, you know, however many episodes we end up making will take great liberty with the historical record but, you know, it will be an interesting . >> never. in real life. >> any rule of thumb in terms of playing the individual characters is the, you know, as the process goes on, the more i find out about the character i'm playing, the more research i do, the more i totally em hers myself in my life. the more i come in and start arguing with the writer and director saying he wouldn't do this. they have to to scare go, no, michael, it's a story. you're not doing a document i are. it's a story. when i first come up against the script, i don't know enough about the person themselves at that point to say, he didn't do this. he didn't do that. i have to agree to doing it or not. trust to a certain extent and gut instijt. as i start to find out more
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luckily each thing i worked on where it does depart from the factual record, i still feel like it's betraig something that has the spirit of it and somehow, you know, it's when people say not every fact is true or not every truth is fact. you somehow managed to get across something far more complex. and three dimensional than you could if you shot the facts. >> yeah. >> i passed -- i passed on some things. so it was repeatedly pitched to me about very prominent public contemporary figures a series, and it may be -- i didn't have the guts to do it. i felt somehow wrong to try to make fictionally, it's one thing to do maybe that's the line virginia johnson is still alive masters is not. but their moment of prominence is, you know, '60s, 70s,
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'80s. i felt uncomfortable commissioning a tv show based on real people who are going fixalize their lives as necessary and it's not controllability of one two-hour script but an ongoing series. it felt like a bridge too far for me at this moment. i wonder if someday wouldn't be an interesting thing do. to do not just this sat fire of -- satire of the white house you get on saturday night live, but, you know, to do . >> hopefully not having to do with a major terrorist attack. >> but do to scare do the obama story while obama is in office. >> which is with a we can . >> which is what you with tony blair. it takes a lot of balls to do that. >> a film that was in development came to jack kennedy, and i remember, you know, looking at and it was, you
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know, very much exploring the area of the women and all that kind of stuff. and i was aware that this was such bsh cause now dealing not just with fact '02 dealing with myth tholings and the american what kennedy represents and idolizes and going to the darkest side what it could do and open up and kind of i thought it's too much. and it has to be handled. i didn't think that every project like that that has been around but i certainly come across i don't think anybody has been ant to handle that in a way i felt comfortable about getting involved in. you have to be aware that you're opening up a massive can of worms there. >> they're getting to that. >> and the ramifications there. and the idea of people in high-ranking positions, and adulterous affairs and that kind of stuff is something that clearly very current. and that is an ongoing -- and there would be something valid and interesting and exciting about getting involved in
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exploring that issue, but you start to tinker with thicks that, you know, you start to wake a dragon and, you know, maybe if you don't feel like you have the machine in place to deal with that, then it's like kind of -- it can be the danger, i remember in drama schools, you have acting teachers who think that somehow they are qualified with psychoanalyzing their students and say you're messing with people's sigh cease and you have to power. i think with i have to be careful at times with, you know, when it comes to that kind of subject matter. >> why don't we take some questions from the audience now. i'm sure they have a few. >> yes? [inaudible] >> where do i apply for an extra? [laughter] >> you have to get naked quickly. [laughter]
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[laughter] now that we got the series one out of the -- serious one owcht way. is it offensive for you do a film or whatever you are doing johnson yet it's okay to makeup a phone call of nixon and frost? >> why is it -- sorry. >> why is it okay to do that and not to do this? where do you draw the line on making up stuff for entertainment purposes the queen thing, the phone call. >> well, i think there's a lot that -- the line is i continue want to mess -- i don't mind missing with history. i adopt behind interpret history or creating -- i would feel -- i would feel uncomfortable messes with an individual or a group of individuals, you know, who
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making up stuff as it happened. i think there's a distinction. a moral distinction. but you just, you know, i think you are shakier ground miking up stories in ongoing basis. my understanding would be that in creating drama you have distill certain events. you can't show everything that happened. you have to find an entertaining, powerful, magnifier for something that stays true to the event and
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people involved. i feel like if you portray someone doing something that is out of character that's clearly, you know, that's where i draw the line. but in terms of peter coming up that phone call event, which allowed certain things about nixon to be able to come to the floor, certain thing about frost. certain things they both did that there was no place for in term of the whole narrative. by creating that one event it brought lots of different elements together in a way that personally for me, i didn't feel cross the line in responsibility about what you show or don't. somehow was able to just make something that make something more come flex in a way. the actual event in some ways less complex about that point in the story about what happened. and peter found a way to make it more complex and show something about nixon a vulnerability, a
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motivation for certain things that bopped him and frost together. the idea of two people who see themselves as outsiders. who in some ways reflections of each other and at the same time see mirror images much each other. it created a powerful dramatic met for for something that didn't happen. that kind of thing happened, and it just created a turning point in the film that the film needed the story needed at that point. and for me personally, i didn't feel it crossed the line. but it is the one thing that involved in every film i have done that makes people go what? that didn't happen and again that leads to another thing. who has the responsibility find out truth is it, you know, i think for a lot of people the films that we go and the tv shows we do about factual events are as far as a lot of people go in terms of finding what out what happened.
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it's each individual's responsibility. it's not like you can't find out something. if it allows someone to find out what happened. that is great. but to be -- i'm not sure how much i don't know. i don't know how much you be blamed for -- well, i thought that was true. it's not it's up to you to find that out. there is a particularly dealing with some areas. -- [inaudible] but it is something i think every artist or writer or executive everybody in the clab
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tive what is the drama require and what is any responsibility to the truth? and what is my moral, legal responsibility? i think those are lines that knob ever draws. as long as you are asking the questions you engaged in that. >> we have never had that discussion. >> never. one interesting thing -- [inaudible] i want to tell you a story. somebody at warner brothers at the time when jfk was being made. told me there was a scene in the picture that stone had shot written and shot and in warner brothers would not release it. that was right after the assassination in dallas, they cut the lbj sitting in his
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office. the phone rings and he picks up and the voice said it's done and hangings up the phone. i was meeting with a film class at ufc and i told that story and it hasn't appeared in the film, but the student from germany said i saw that scene. they germany. if it's until the foreign version not the domestic version, i think that says things about american and americans that will not be easily scrubbed for any mind. make believe does make believe. i would like you comment but i would also like an answer of this question. when a lot of people say overseas they see american film which storeture is used and repeated. if there a case in which somebody felt in effect that i've seen it in american
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television, i believe it happens, i believe it's okay and they wouldn't show it on television. and without license committed it. would you feel any personal responsibility about that? how would you feel? >> don't jfk i read stephen king's book about man who discovers the ability to go back in time and tries to stop the assassination. more people will read this book rather than watch the film. and put a thing on the front that says this didn't actually happen? where is the line. at what point is it a responsibility to find out whether there's a backing up of the argument. it seems ridiculous when it's about time travel. there's nothing of that yet. the idea of lyndon johnson
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behind the asass assassination of jfk is absurd. >> i think the answer to, you know, to somebody who will look at watch "24" and see there's a code watcher and the film and the americans americans are torturing, you know, mongers. i'm i think the question is the effect and the cause and effect of this -- of art and public perception and behavior. would i personally feel responsibility in i thought about it. and i think we all bear some responsibility but not complete responsibility. somebody who doesn't the have critical capacity to turn on the show and recognize it's a fiction that, you know, that this is not a rentation, this is not a, you know, that people will read this as a reflection
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of american policy or america is unfortunate possibility, and it's in some cases, you know, i'm sure only underscores preexisting beliefs in my opinion. but i think they are probably -- yeah. i don't know what to think. i thought an awful lot about it. i think something like "24" was singled out, for instance, i think it belongs to a long literature from ""dirty harry" "look at the americans. they love "dirty harry." people watched "dirty harry" and didn't read in to it. i think there was a event are we therefore to bound to put out -- i don't know where does the line drawn? do we -- by putting a sex scene are they going it say look at the shameless americans who are promoting wanton sexual alty.
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it's the same where do we stop? tell me. that's my question to you. where do you draw the line? >> -- as an artist like i said, right at beginning is to my ultimate responsibility it to represent human beings who are three dimensional not black and white and flawed and have huge gray area. i suppose it extends to the whole piece, i have to feel like there's not one massive -- i find it artistically dull for something to be overly policized in term of the agenda it's a mess age piece and this is the truth. i don't feel like the truth. the characters i portray i bring back to the character there is good and bad, you know, comprise all kinds of difficult areas and but i would also need to see that in the piece as whole ooze well. and that somehow it increases a kind of dignity and perspective and understanding, potentially for the people instances where i get to gray areas.
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people think about blair do you agree with the politics or not. the more you get em mersessed in the world of someone, the more it's hard to just see them as the politician who is making the -- you see them as a father and husband and son. so you to in order to understand them in order to make that imaginative connection with them. in a way, my personal responsibility would be to make sure that the complexity of each person and the complexity of each situation is explored as fully as possible. and that's where it ends for me. [inaudible] [inaudible] is there any -- [inaudible] display very good point. i find it hard to -- [inaudible]
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-- [inaudible] suggest that the fdr planned pearl harbor. i feel uncrvelg with the story -- uncomfortable about the story and the -- [inaudible] master of this. and anybody here -- i'm sorry i'm making the point of trying to square michael sheen -- an emotional truth and the life of lbj and jfk. and the same thing about fdr being behind pearl harbor. as a historian, i'm trying to find the roots and i don't like to see par -- [inaudible] >> i would agree. the idea of showing lj on the phone and scene you describe i would say is, you know, -- [inaudible] >> an artistic failure.
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>> it's very hard to say they are subjective. there is questions of taste, is that an interesting artistic choice or cheesy? we face the choices all the time. michael faces the diss do i dot script or not. i do believe it represents some friewt. do i think it has something interesting to say? do i think it has esthetic value or do i think it it's cheesy or false or we all have . >> and certain things that decrees the complexity, which i would say the lbj thing decreases complexity it. is simplifies it in a way that is -- uninteresting. where as, like i said the responsibility toward increasing the complexity of things open it up is a primary thing and that somehow i think answers both sides of it in a way that is both artistically uninteresting to make the choice, to me. that's the subjective thing. from a factual point of view. i see no evidence to back it
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up. someone could do a film about how, you know, the theory about who is behind 9/11, yes, i guess someone is allowed to make a film about the most ridiculous idea about 9/11. it would be difficult to do in a way that is compelling because the staffing from a viewpoint that is already narrowing everything so much that it would artistically be a failure, i would imagine. if someone can make a brilliant artistic point of view brilliant portrayal of the ridiculous theory of 9/11, i would be amazed. >> the -- work of course -- [inaudible] yes, over here. >> yeah. [inaudible] what was portrayed on the news was the truth. and we dale with that with our own children. and i look of the question of the world, in america is a
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criteria -- [inaudible] what have we bin trained? what do we know. that is one standard then we are putting things out to the world in which there are many people in the world that believe everything that is said is truth. and everything that -- [inaudible] and huge damage can be done in a world context that is unintended, but still huge damage can be done that i don't know how you put in to your math in to your calculus at all.
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>> yms it is part of the math on something we think it think about. some people are more thoughtful and others and some artists are more thoughtful than others. i'm not the artist, i'm one of the gate keepers, and it's something i think about in your weighing a lot of different things. artistic merit versus what is responsible, versus what is going to get an audience and some calculus, there's no rhythm to it, but i do believe that in television my experience over the years i've been doing it. the good stuff wins and generally when i've had success it's because something was interesting and provocative, that the viewing is more sophisticating than we give them credit for a lot of times, and people are more and more
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literate and . >> america because i think there are -- well i think it's translates probably beyond america. i can't answer for the sort of -- it's hard to answer for the, you know, jack bauer and how he handles a difficult situation as a sole representative how an american has a piece of information you want to get out of them. it's hard thing to answer. but, you know, that's a problem with literacy. that's a problem with education. and i think that there's inevitable path of increasing sophistication and increasing narrative sophistication. the amount of information people can process and the amount of narrative complexity people can process. it's on an increasing curve, and . >> i think you're an optimist. >> i am an optimist.
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it's evidenced by look at television in 1968. it versus where television is today. look at what -- look at the cbs evening news cast from 1974 versus what is happened today. it's become more politicalized but certainly the ability to process information has, you know, has grown and, you know, i think these are issues of education. -- [inaudible] >> there's an ongoing battle for . >> people are putting out ideas on various and ways hidden or not value systems, beliefs, arguments, point of view, that's going on all the time. every single person who is
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involved on whatever level, nibble our industry is joining putting something out there and obviously so you to take responsibility for it. i don't think there's any reason for anyone who does what we coon any level to deny responsibility. so you join in the battle if someone is saying probably the opposite what you want people to believe. you have to get this there and do it. if you took on board all the complexity of it and the difficulty of it it might make you stop. but other people wouldn't stop and you have to carry-on and battle with them. my own feeling is anything like i say, anything that opens up and creates more complexity and because it stops people for me, i believe it stops people from coming away from it with a black and white argument. i'm proud in some ways a lot of things i do people have totally different interpretations what
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it was. depending what their point view is. i can only manage it puts the emphasis on them. it allows the space within it to people find out more rather than that's what happened. because there is something that is confusing about compressionty. it doesn't allow you to sit with something . >> there's a question over here. >> my comment is m street is one way. and pennsylvania avenue is -- [inaudible] [laughter] right. you'll see that eventually got right in the script. we did eventually -- [inaudible]
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[laughter] it's my huge that "24" that the future by presenting a credible and admiral black president, which may have made the election for a black president long before most of here would have every thought it was possible. i would like to know what you think about it. >> and . >> my second question. [laughter] [applause] where did michael sheen buy his socks? [laughter] >> i was -- that was my question. i'm glad you asked. they were a present. from someone with incredible taste. [laughter] really. they are british. they are british i find it
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ironic that the notion of that black president although he was a season one, he was a president issue candidate and only became the president was created by envowed arch republican who probably wasn't thinking he was paving the way for barack obama -- [laughter] but it goes to figure you make interesting choices there's weird outcomes. >> i think if you ask dennis he would take a lot of credit. he has a picture in the officer a presidential portrait president obama looking this way and there's a portrait of david palmer. truly. ..


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